of the relationship a child feelstoward a particular person(parent, grandparent, caregiver,etc.). They represent children’s feltsense of security and comfort levelwith the person’s responsivenessto their needs. They are important because children often showdifferent outcomes in theirwell-being based on attachmentstyle. Some of the importantaspects of a child’s growth affected by attachment quality includethe following:•Children who are secure in theirattachments more freely exploretheir environment and are ableto learn with confidence, whilechildren who are insecure aremore likely to struggle in beingconfident and learning abouttheir surroundings.•Children who are secure tendto be more popular with peersand exhibit more positive socialinteraction with other kids,while children who are insecureseem more at risk for hostile,anti-social or difficult relation-ships with other children.•Children who are secure tend to be more emotionally stable andable to express and manage theirfeelings well, while childrenwho are insecure are more likelyto be emotionally unstable andhave difficulty in expressingand managing feelings.•Children who are securedemonstrate greater abilityto handle stress and help othershandle stress, while childrenwho are insecure are morelikely to struggle when stressed,act out in unhealthy ways and be insensitive to others whoare stressed.The importance of attachmentquality can be significant. Howdo such attachments develop?
Development of attachment styles
Several key factors can affect thequality of a child’s attachment.These can include the child’stemperament (more active andoutgoing, etc.), the context of the situation (stranger present,familiar room, etc.), early history(traumatic experience, etc.) andother things. But
the way in whicha parent responds to and interactswith a young child is the key factor in how an attachment develops
.A child’s attachment stylegenerally develops based onthe child’s perception orunderstanding of the caregiver’sreliability in providing comfort,support and security. Behaviorsthat promote attachment andprovide the opportunity formeaningful interaction include:•Smiling•Looking at each other•Vocalizing to each other•Following•Clinging•Physical touch and hugging•Exploring the surroundings•Feeding interactions•Crying•Playing
Parents and other caregivers should seek to understand theimportance of healthy attachments with young childrenand work towardthe formation of strong,secure attachments with children.
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